LFC Talk

High Court judgement awaited by lfctalk
October 12, 2010, 13:31
Filed under: News

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The battle for power at Anfield is said to be nearing a resolution with a High Court judgement set to be announced this afternoon.

Owners of the club Tom Hicks and George Gillett are hoping to win the case to prevent the bid from New England Sports Ventures, of around £300m, being put through.

The Royal Bank of Scotland, the major creditor to Kop Holdings who have imposed a Friday deadline for a debt of over £200million to be settled, have brought the case as they want the NESV deal to be completed.

Richard Snowden QC, representing creditor RBS, told Mr Justice Floyd that the American owners now admitted “a calculated breach of contract” by seeking to change the constitution of the companies and the boards involved without the consent of the bank.

He said this was in order “to frustrate the sale necessary to repay the bank £200 million by this Friday”.

The bank successfully brought in an injunction to prevent the pair from sacking any members of the Anfield board and replacing them with employees loyal to the Americans.

Mr Snowden said Hicks filed evidence that if RBS did not like what he was doing, then it could enforce its security rights.

“This would derail the carefully planned process designed to achieve a sale of the club in a timely manner.”

He said that plan would not carry the risk of Liverpool losing the nine points deducted by the Premier League when a team goes into administration.

The judge was asked to impose injunctions on the owners requiring them to restore the original constitutions of the companies and managing directors.

This would remove the final stumbling block to a £300 million takeover by NESV, who own the Boston Red Sox and are fronted by John W Henry, which will see the RBS recoup its original £237million loan to Mr Hicks and Mr Gillett when they bought the club in March 2007.

Mr Snowden said evidence filed to the court showed “breathtaking arrogance on the part of Mr Hicks and Mr Gillett”.

Both admitted their actions were a breach of contact, and Hicks apparently took it upon himself to think RBS “would not be prejudiced because it would not make the position any worse”.

Paul Girolami QC, representing the American owners, said his clients “were not trying to throw a spanner in the works” of the proposed sale deal.

He claimed that other offers had been made for the club and were potentially better for the fans, owners and team.

Opposing an immediate injunction, he said all the issues involved needed more time to determine and “should not be rushed into”.

“What has happened is that the English directors have gone forward with the NESV bid without properly considering alternatives when those alternatives at least appear to give better prospects.”

Mr Justice Floyd, a Crystal Palace supporter, is expected to give a ruling this afternoon.


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